Husky Pride Day initiative pushes student engagement

At the women's hocky game against Ohio State Saturday, people in the crowd showed their support by cheering, dancing and waving a St. Cloud State flag. Photo by Alec Kasper-Olson.
At the women’s hocky game against Ohio State Saturday, people in the crowd showed their support. Photo by Alec Kasper-Olson.

Known in the past as a “party school,” St. Cloud State University is shaking its former reputation, says Marcia LaVine.

Student Government Sen. LaVine said, “This school is really working hard to change their reputation.”

She explained that this process has been slow. “I think it’s finally coming into fruition now and Husky Pride Day really shows it,” she said.

Student Government is working on various initiatives to bring out more student engagement. The most important is Husky Pride Day, said Randall Olson, communications chair.

For a few weeks, Student Government has been encouraging students to wear St. Cloud State apparel or red and black on Fridays to show their school spirit.

“Ultimately, we just want to see students come together under the Husky banner of student pride,” he said.

To enter in a drawing for prizes, students have submitted photos of themselves and their friends to show their participation, Olson explained. Members from Student Government go through the photos to see who is showing the most school spirit, announcing winners on Mondays.

While students tend to show more spirit at sporting events, he explained that Husky Pride Day aims to define what it means to be a Husky.

“I’ve heard from students across campus, from faculty and staff too, that there’s a lack of tradition on campus,” Olson said.

“In the past, the culture of St. Cloud hasn’t been too productive in involvement and support in the community,” Olson explained. “I’m not saying that it’s this way now.”

One of the goals for Husky Pride Day, along with other initiatives, is to help engage students in a more productive way, he said.

“There’s been a shift in the students that are attending St. Cloud,” he said, explaining that he’s seen higher levels of engagement and ambition out of students this fall. “That’s a promising thing for the university.”

“The university has taken strides to better communicate with students to show students what’s going on, on campus,” he said. During Olson’s first year at St. Cloud State, he explained that there was a lack of communication between students and the university. With the increases in social media usage on campus, he said it’s been easier to get in touch with the student body.

With the initiative still in its early stages, Olson said they plan to look into other ways to engage the campus community. One way that’s still in the works is putting together a Husky Pride challenge for student organizations, he said.

Sen. Brandon Mitchell said he wants to see more students come together.

“The more of us that show we care about being a part of this, the more other people will want to be a part of this,” he said about the Husky Pride initiative.

“We should be happy with the way we’re conducting ourselves, we shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed,” Mitchell said. “Take pride in what you do.”

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